Wii All (Nintendo Revolution Analysis)

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Important notes

UPDATE: Don´t get me wrong. All the articles in this blog could become truth in different levels. There are many facts, besides the flash memory one, that point to have Wii patents. This facts can be avoided through possible explanations. But the quantity of this facts and considering them together can make grow the possibility of having Wii patents. But inserting the doubt about Cube having flash memory in a design stage reduces the factibility of this articles. Remember that the information is all speculation if it doesn´t come through a Nintendo source.

Hello everybody,

As you know I always try to post articles based on facts. Many if not all the posts in here refer to various patents that I infer are from Wii. I have given strong facts but I have thought in a possibility. A comment from an annonymous user says the following:
It's a same function that Flipper has, I guess. Original Flipper has 4 redering pipes, each pipe can do some register combining Ops (up to 16 stages) in single redering pass.

Here's Factor5 Julian Eggebrecht Interview.

http://www.planetgamecube.com/specialArt.cfm?artid=1906

Julian Eggebrecht: He was probably referring to the TEV pipeline. Imagine it like an elaborate switchboard that makes the wildest combinations of textures and materials possible. The TEV pipeline combines up to 8 textures in up to 16 stages in one go. Each stage can apply a multitude of functions to the texture - obvious examples of what you do with the TEV stages would be bump-mapping or cel-shading.


I read the article and this info from Gamecube really is identical as the supposed Wii´s shading/blending engine. We know that both systems have a similar architecture, but I am starting to doubt this is a Wii patent. Why? there is a strong fact that I used to justify is a Wii patent, and this is the flash memory. Please read the article refering to the Wii´s battery first. I thought on the possibility that inicially the cube could have a flash memory in design but It didn´t make it to the final hardware. So the most strong fact to justify is a Wii patent is not that strong any more. The rest of the facts are complementary, so now I can´t tell you 100% sure that I have founded Wii patents guys. Sorry. Another reader told the following:
Hi all,

These images are from Nintendo's Gamecube patents, of which I've read about a dozen. There's nothing mysterious going on here. The Gamecube's memory architecture is well-documented and is adequately portrayed here.

About TMEM and eFB, there is 1 MB of TMEM and 2 MB of eFB embedded in the Flipper GPU as 1T-SRAM. In fact, it takes up about 1/3 of the die space. The TMEM holds textures (or texture fragments), possibly compressed using S3TC, that are to be used immediately by the GPU. Less critical textures are in main memory. The eFB is used extensively as a "scratch pad" for rendering parts of a scene and for the z-buffer. The z-buffer is an 8/16/24-bit representation of the position of different vertices or objects to be rendered and is one of the Flipper's secrets to success. Many, many of the operations other GPUs (like Xbox's) perform as texture shader operations are performed by the Flipper as z-buffer and blending operations in the eFB. Its pretty fascinating, actually.

Also, 1T-SRAM, despite its marketing name, is actually a form of DRAM. As you correctly note, DRAM has to be refreshed because it has a capacitor ana a transistor (SRAM uses 6 transistors). The 1T-SRAM is no different, but the way in which the memory is physically arranged allows the refresh cycles to be hidden. SRAM is much faster than DRAM because of the DRAM refresh cycles, but 1T-SRAM can mask the effects and has speeds comparable (but not quite equal) to SRAM.

So, its a marketing thing to call it 1T-"SRAM". Its really a smart form of DRAM. It's also a bit expensive because its about 10-15% larger than standard DRAM, so it has poorer density.


So this can show another info that matches exactly the gamecube when I talked about a possible memory arquitecture.

So the microphone article, the memory architecture article, the battery-projector article and the shading/blending engine article can probably be from a Gamecube. The topics treated in those articles can become truth... who knows, but the other facts without the flash memory one are not so strong to be 100% sure are Wii patents.

A battery in a gamecube doesn´t sounds that strange cause I can imagine me playing with a gamecube in a lcd display in a car or something like that, that was not possible with the Wii.

So... maybe I could use my time to other task than don´t involve researching anymore haha. I would try to have interesting info here and the next time that I post something from Wii patents is because there is no doubt about the origin of it.

Sorry for the inconvenience but I needed to tell you this.

3 Comments:

  • Well I can also confirm there is a battery for GC, that lasts for an hour and a half or something.

    Great blog by the way. :)

    By Blogger Kraid, at 4:47 AM  

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